Call it the defensive offense: Besides the pitcher, no other single position on the baseball team gets to record wins in their stat cards. To count as a streak, the wins have to be consecutive for that pitcher, but they don't have to be played all in a row.
You need to dig very deep in the file cabinet of baseball statistics to find the longest pitcher's single-season winning streak of Major League history -- more than 100 years, to Richard "Rube" Marquard's 1912 season. Looking at his stat card and his professional history, Marquard was one of those players who could seem extremely average at times and invincible at others. Having played semipro for a factory team as a teenager, he moved up to the minors, where he dominated for two seasons straight, earning 23 wins his first year and 28 the next [source: Mansch].
With numbers like that, Marquard drew the attention of Major League teams, and by 1908, he had received the unheard-of offer of $11,000 -– between $250,000 and $300,000 by 2012 standards. Sports writers hailed him as the next dominant force in New York City baseball, calling him the "$11,000 Peach." But his first trip to the mound was a disappointment. Soon he was being called the "$11,000 Lemon." In 1909, his win-loss record read 5-13, and the next year it leveled out at 4-4 [source: Baseball Reference].
With the help of a new assistant coach, he found his footing during the 1911 season. His game record that season leapt to 24-7. In 1912, he rose to 26-11, including the 19-game winning streak that cemented his place in baseball's record books. The streak started at the beginning of the season and had him beat every team in his league. It almost ended at the 13th game when the Cubs came close to winning. Marquard was relieved in the eighth inning, the Giants rallied back into the lead and the victory was attributed Marquard. It was a close call that foreshadowed which team would end his streak six games later -- the Cubs.